Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
Department of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading—DoJ
Australian Capital Territory Policing
Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Department of Transport
Office of Regulatory Services
Appendix D—Definition of key terms
Forgery: the act of producing a false document with the intention of using it to dishonestly induce a third person to accept it as genuine. (Adapted from the Criminal Code Act 1995 Cth)
Fraud: dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means. (Adapted from Division 135 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 Cth; Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2011)
Identity crime: a generic term to describe activities/offences in which a perpetrator uses a fabricated identity, a manipulated identity, or a stolen/assumed identity to facilitate the commission of crime.
(2007 Intergovernmental agreement to a National Identity Security Strategy; 2)
Identity fabrication: the creation of a fictitious identity.
(Adapted from Australian Centre for Policing Research 2006; 15)
Identity fraud: gaining money, goods, services or other benefits or avoiding obligations through the use of a fabricated identity, a manipulated identity, or a stolen/assumed identity. (2007 Intergovernmental agreement to a National Identity Security Strategy; Australian Centre for Policing Research 2006; 15)
Identity information: information relating to a person (whether living or dead, real or fictitious, an individual or a body corporate) that is capable of being used (whether alone or in conjunction with other information) to identify or purportedly identify the person. This includes the following:
(a) a name or address,
(b) a date or place of birth, marital status, relatives’ identity or similar information,
(g) a credit or debit card, its number, or data stored or encrypted on it,
(h) financial account numbers, user names or passwords,
(i) a digital signature,
(j) a series of numbers or letters (or both) intended for use as a means of personal identification,
(k) an ABN.
(Criminal Code Act 1995 Cth, Part 9.5, Division 301.1)
Identity manipulation: altering one or more elements of identity (e.g. name, date of birth, address). (Adapted from Australian Centre for Policing Research 2006; 15).
Identity misuse: using personal information for purposes extraneous to the original transaction—such as renting it to a vendor of related products, or mining it to create a consumer profile or direct marketing list. (Ludington, S, 2006; 146).
Identity takeover: assuming parts or all of the identity of another person with their consent.
(Adapted from advice provided by the AFP/NSW Police Identity Security Strike Team)
Identity theft: stealing or assuming a pre-existing identity (or significant part thereof) without consent and, in the case of an individual, whether the person is living or deceased. (Australian Centre for Policing Research 2006; 15)
Impersonation: the act of pretending to be another person, or acting in that other person’s capacity as a public official; the person does so knowing it to be in circumstances when the official is likely to be on duty; the person does so with the intent to deceive.
(Adapted from the Criminal Code Act 1995 Cth)
Appendix E—Calculating the direct losses caused by identity crime
Table E1: Estimated direct losses attributed to identity crimes and misuse, by agency and value ($)
Estimated Unit Cost
Total Fraud Cost
25% ID Crime
50% ID Crime
Aust & NZ Organisations
a: Ponemon Institute 2012
b: KPMG Survey of Fraud, Bribery & Corruption 2012: http://www.kpmg.com/AU/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Fraud-Survey/Documents/fraud-bribery-corruption-survey-2012-fraud-facts.pdf
c: AIC Fraud against the Commonwealth 2009–10 annual report to government: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/mr/1-20/18/04_exec_summ.html Table E2: Estimated direct costs of investigating and prosecuting identity crimes, by agency and value
25% ID Crime
50% ID Crime
ID crimes proven guilty
Detected ID crime
a: Jorna & Smith 2013.
1Due to some variability in the characterisation of agency definitions regarding identity-related crimes, it may be difficult to directly compare data produced by different agencies in all cases.
2The ABS survey asked respondents whether in the last 12 months, they had been aware of anyone using their credit cards to make purchases or withdraw cash without their permission, or using their personal details, such as driver’s licence or tax file number in stolen, fraudulent or forged documents, without their permission.